Dec 30, 2011

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Fallacy of the Week – “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

“No True Scotsman” Fallacy _ the arguer defines a term in a biased way in order to protect his position from rebuttals.

Example:

“You can believe what you want about Creation but no real scientist would agree with you. You don’t have any degrees!”

The “No True Scotsman” fallacy is actually made up of several fallacies. It’s a blend of equivocation and begging the question (possibly with an epithet) with a twist of faulty appeal to authority thrown in for garnish.

The redefinition of terms coupled with a derogatory remark makes this fallacy a popular weapon in heated debates when the two sides run out of intelligent things to say.

In our example above, suppose we brought in a well-known and highly credentialed expert to weigh the evidence. If he agreed with the Creationist, he could be dismissed as not being a real scientist. If he disagreed, one could use his notoriety as a faulty appeal to authority.

Truth exists in what is, not who says it. Reality is a powerful voice and it always gets the last word.

 

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Question-begging Epithet

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Dec 23, 2011

Posted by John Loeffler | 1 Comment

Fallacy of the Week – Naturalistic Fallacy

Naturalistic Fallacy _ the position that since something is a particular way, it is morally acceptable for it to be that way.

Examples:

  • “Might makes right. After all, it’s a jungle out there!”
  • “All natural is more healthy.”
  • “I can’t help it, It’s my nature.”

This fallacy really hangs on the ambiguous definition of what is normal, regular or natural. To further compound the problem, the assumption is that normal or natural is qualitatively better than otherwise. Arguments about the supposed supremacy of “more evolved” or advanced cultures has lead to a philosophical justification for the oppression or elimination of the “lesser” groups.

Advertisers use the premise that since their products or methods are “All natural”, that they are superior to “artificial” ones. What really defines natural and artificial? What is normal and why is it good or better?

You have to define the terms you’re working with: normal, natural, better, worse etc. Realize that in systems of dialectic consensus, that the terms and definitions are constantly changing within the confines of the group. They seek to use the size of the group to impose their definitions upon the rest. If you are “outside”, most likely your definitions are at odds with theirs.

 

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – “No True Scotsman” Fallacy

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Dec 16, 2011

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Fallacy of the Week – Moralistic Fallacy

Moralistic Fallacy _ the demand that because something should be a particular way, that it validates that way.  Or, jumping from arguments about what ought to be to statements about what is.

Example:

“People shouldn’t steal things; It’s wrong and it’s against the law.  Therefore, I don’t have to lock my doors when I leave home.”

This is the “In a perfect world…” argument. Usually, the person committing this fallacy has a certain preconception about how things should be. They’ve been offended by the harsh nature of reality and resort to elevating their “it ought to be so” scenario.

Those with power and wealth can’t resist shaping the world according to their view of how things should be. Progressive elites have always positioned themselves at the helm of the dialectic process to steer the herd toward a predetermined end.

The herd thinks they’re making a collective democratic choice, but the elites always change the rules and definitions to maintain control of the outcome.

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Naturalistic Fallacy

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Dec 9, 2011

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Fallacy of the Week – Hasty Generalization

Hasty Generalization _ making a general claim which is derived from an insufficient number of specific examples.

Example:

“Prisoner X was a member of an extremist group. Everyone in that group is obviously dangerous”.

The media is rife with one-sided stories reported by ignorance, bias and neglect. Usually, one commits this fallacy when they’ve made up their mind about a subject before hearing the facts. This is why we emphasize worldview analysis and didactic reasoning over the dialectic, feeling-based approach.

We all have feelings but if we let them govern our thinking and reasoning especially in the fight for truth, we will become a casualty in the worldview wars.

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Moralistic Fallacy

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